Archive for June, 2008

29
Jun
08

priestess.

One overcast Sunday morning in the spring of 2006 my friend Tammy called to ask if I’d like to meet her for an early hike in nearby South Mountain Reservation. I quickly agreed, glad to have this chance for some girl time. We walked swiftly along the undulating path, eager to get deeper into the park. Past the main loop, we unleashed Tammy’s dog Kelly who playfully ran ahead of us in search of her own adventure.

Tammy and I continued walking, going deeper into the woods and into our hearts. One of my great joys is sharing friendship with people who aren’t afraid to jump into the deep end of life. The conversation that morning reflected our deep yearning to craft lives that are rich and deep and filled with passion. When Tammy told me about an interfaith program her sister-in-law was studying, I felt a strange energy surge through my body. I looked up to see a deer standing to the side of our path, seemingly staring straight at me. As soon as I returned home I found the One Spirit web site and downloaded the application.
The journey I began two years ago culminated last week in my graduation and ordination as an Interfaith Minister. During our years at One Spirit, my classmates and I studied the world’s great traditions and studied ourselves. We prayed and kneeled and cried out and reached out to each other. We questioned our worth and our readiness to be ministers. We braved the shadows of our fears and our conditioning. Together we waited for our hearts to open in love for one another and for those to whom we offer our lives in service. Last week in the presence of our mentors and spiritual teachers we spoke aloud our vows and announced that we are ready to step into the world as we embrace our ministries and embody the presence of divine love in the world.
24
Jun
08

heading home.

In the morning, Sam and I will begin the return journey to Bombay. This six-week trip to the US has been incredibly rich, as we’ve filled our days and evenings visiting friends and family on the east coast. Looking back at my posts, I realized that more than two weeks have passed since my last entry. I feel as if I’ve lived a dozen life times since then. I posted my last entry on the morning of June 6th, the first time I spoke to my sister in eighteen months. She had cut off all contact between us without an explanation. When I learned she was coming to my parents’ home (where I was staying) I was very nervous about seeing her. Would she speak to me? Would she initiate a confrontation? Would she want to reconcile? So many questions about her went unanswered. At the same time I questioned my readiness to see her. During this time of silence I experienced a range of emotions, including self-righteousness and anger, confusion and pain. In recent weeks I had sought the counsel of my spiritual teachers, who encouraged me to remain open and loving toward my sister. The morning of my sister’s arrival I awoke early to clean the house, literally and metaphorically preparing to receive her. I extended my daily spiritual practice to include an hour of morning meditation. The result was a loving encounter with my sister, which I believe is an open doorway to healing our fractured relationship.

Since our meeting, I have been holding in my heart the gifts I received through this process. The feeling is still a little dense for me and I haven’t yet put into words my spiritual experience. I do know that I am returning home feeling a little more spacious inside.

07
Jun
08

rumi’s invitation.

Come, come, whoever you are.

Wonderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow
a thousand times.
Come, yet again, come, come.


04
Jun
08

three and a half kg’s.


Today I went to Bath & Body Works. I knew they were having their semi-annual sale. I promised myself I would only buy a few items. Just a couple of body sprays to bring back to India. Maybe a hand soap or two. Something came over me when I walked into that store this morning. When I regained consciousness I was staring at 7 and half pounds of scented body care products laid out on my bed.


01
Jun
08

misconceptions.

A family friend asked me what I think are the biggest misconceptions Americans have about Indians. Good question, I told him. No one had asked me this before and I drew a blank. I really didn’t know how to respond. Sometimes in the course of conversation people reveal their biases or preconceptions, but they are often veiled. So I asked my husband and other family & friends to answer this question. What are the biggest misconceptions Americans have about Indians?

1. Indians don’t speak English. My husband identifies English as his mother tongue, and many of our other relatives are most comfortable speaking English.
2. All Indians do yoga. Just not true.
3. Indians live in villages with little exposure to western culture. According to some estimates, there are 20 million people in Bombay alone. We enjoy many amenities and modern conveniences available in the West. Of course, many people have limited access because of education, finances, or social status.
4. All Indians are vegetarians. Most Hindus and Jains do not eat meat. Muslims and Jews avoid pork, but will often eat other meat. Christians generally eat anything.